John was born and raised in Wakefield, MA; he was the dear son of the late John E. Connell, II and Marion E. (Logan) Lawson. John was a graduate of Wakefield High School and went on to train for the Army National Guard at Ft. Drum in New York.
John married the “love of his life” Marjorie Stanton in 1953, sharing more than 60 years together and raising a beautiful family. John and Marge moved to Wilmington 57 years ago and quickly became part of a close knit neighborhood where they were thought of as extended family. John was a very devoted family man; he loved helping out not only his kids but all of their friends as well. John loved being “Papa” to his 27 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; he was always so proud of his family’s accomplishments.
John was known to be a very hard worker; for many years he was employed at New England Telephone. John started as a splice service technician where he actually climbed the poles for many years in bad weather to service the phones and keep lines of communication open. John’s work ethic and knowledge of the company along with his friendly disposition made him a favorite amongst his co-workers and helped him to move up the ranks. At the time of his retirement, John was a Contact Work Inspector for the Telephone Company.
John was certainly a “social butterfly” who would do anything for anyone; he belonged to several clubs and did countless hours volunteering his time. John was a Charter Member of the Fr. Croke Council Knights of Columbus where he was also a Fourth Degree, he was very involved in the Tewksbury Wilmington Lodge of Elks B.P.O.E. #2070 for many years, he was also a member of the Wilmington VFW, American Legion, and the Moose Lodge in North Reading.
John was best known as an AVID outdoorsman who loved to hike, camp, canoe, mountain climb, fish, garden, and he thoroughly enjoyed loud outdoor activities. John passed his love of the outdoors to his children and grandchildren; he always had sound advice on how to survive in the wild. John also did a lot of volunteering over the years at the youth center in Wilmington where he took the kids hiking and fishing.
Following retirement, John and Marge became “snow birds” who wintered in Cape Coral, Florida for over 30 years. John joined the Eagle Club and continued to make countless new friends down South.
John was a “history buff”, he was well read and could have a conversation on almost any subject. John knew so much information about people and places it was truly amazing.
John will be fondly remembered for his unconditional love and devotion to his family and friends. He was a friendly guy with a good sense of humor who will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
John was the beloved husband of Marjorie J. (Stanton) Connell, devoted father of Debbie Doucette & her husband Gene of Wakefield, Jean Ferrara & her husband Ferdie, Judy Cassim & her husband Bill all of Wilmington, Patti Dussault & her husband Gino of Barnstable, John Connell, IV & his wife Audrey of Dracut, Maureen Tabor & her husband Ron of Sebago, ME, Mary Hancox& Dave Gidari of Middleton, Janice Cool & her husband Dennis and Michael Connell & Christine Burke all of Wilmington, loving “Papa” of Gene Doucette, Jacki (Doucette) Snow, Danielle (Doucette) Dolan, Steven Doucette, Carolyn Doucette, Jennifer Aprile, Tom Aprile, Jonathan Aprile, Meghan Ferrara, Michael Ferrara, Ken Tabor, Kurt Tabor, Ashley (Tabor) Pringle, Michelle (Cassim) Howlett, Christine Cassim, Richie Tabor, Jim Tabor, Katie Dussault, Jill (Connell) Canes, John Connell V, Cassie Connell, Kyle Hancox, Shane Hancox, Janell Velozo, Kayla Velozo, Bailey Steen, and Alivia Steen, “Great-Papa” of Abby, Emma, Haylee, Alana, Tayler, Emerson, Brody, Manuel, Chase, Lilly, Farrah, Jimmy, Elijah, Gabriel, Ethan and Madison, father-in-law of the late Thomas Aprile and Stephen Hancox, cherished son of the late John E. Connell, II & Marion E. (Logan) Lawson, dear brother of Eleanor Loughman of GA, Earl Lawson of Malden and the late Robert Connell of Falmouth. John is also survived by many nieces & nephews.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, July 25th at 11:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 12:00 noon. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, July 24th from 3:00-9:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations in John’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.